How To Produce Great Social Video & Win A Lasting Audience
Updated: Apr 14
Social platforms are where billions of us go to keep up to date with our community & enjoy simple, shareable content. The opportunity to gain exposure and connect with a large audience is, in theory, staggering.
But in this on-demand economy, brands and businesses that want to be welcomed into this space need to earn their place. You need to be invited to the party by bringing something valuable to the table.
Making successful social video is hard, but not in the way you might think. Content that falls flat is often doomed before anyone picks up a camera; the error is in the approach.
These are our 4 essential principles for successful social media content.
1. Be Interesting
Why would someone hit the play button in their spare time? It sounds obvious, but if you can't answer this basic question, chances are the content just won't find the right audience on social media.
Just look at the popularity of caught-on-CCTV, unbelievable science experiment or tobogganing along the Great Wall of China style videos. They're constantly finding their way onto our social feeds because they're worthy of a share. We want something to talk about; we want to be engaged.
As a business, you don't have to be this novel. But as an expert in your industry, you'll have insights and experiences that are bound to pique the interest of your target market. In sharing your expertise, rather than a hard sell, you become one to watch.
2. Be Authentic
Quite often, you can succeed in being interesting by being authentic & transparent. It's refreshing to see companies pull back the glossy curtain and reveal themselves to be actual human beings. More importantly, this openness goes a long way in establishing trust and building a relationship. After all, this is social media.
The thing is, the audience knows that with today's standard of production wizardry, you can show them anything. So, the question becomes: what don't you show them? In fact, we'd even argue that too much gloss can be harmful to your social media efforts. It suggests the message has been manufactured and the reality is being hidden, even if this isn't the case.
Beyond that, when you try to be too clever or unique in how you present information, you risk losing the message completely. The best strategy on social media is always to get to the point quickly and simply.
Of course, we're not suggesting you go out of your way to make content look amateurish, but there's a fine balance to strike. There's a big difference between something that's been polished to clarify the message, and something that's been polished to cover up the holes.
3. Be Thoughtful
Social media provides an unprecedented opportunity for companies to engage with their target market. Comments, likes and shares provide a wealth of insight into an audience's interests, questions and concerns. And one of the most powerful ways to demonstrate your committment to customer service is to show that you are listening.
In 2012, McDonald's Canada published this video on YouTube. As of April 2020, it has 12,000,000 views, which isn't bad for a channel with shy of 84,000 subscribers. It captures perfectly the 3 principles we've talked about so far. It's interesting, authentic, and it demonstrates clearly that they were listening to their audience.
4. Be Consistent
If the first 3 points are about producing great content, this final point relates to building a strong audience. Unless you can give people a reason to keep coming back, all you really have is fleeting attention. When you have customers checking in get get their fix of the latest content, you've developed a lasting relationship.
Of course, it's tempting to pump your budget into one spectacular video. If you're trying to showcase a new product or make a big declaration about your company values, this might be the way to go.
But to develop a lasting online presence, don't be afraid to split that budget into a series of more cost effective videos. Sometimes, depending on your budget, this might mean sacrificing a little production value (otherwise know as gloss). But this doesn't mean shaky, grainy footage with terrible audio. It just means following the 3 principles above and choosing a simple, lightweight & cost effective production approach.
Take a look at the work we did with Stena Line. Working with their marketing team, we developed a 12-month content plan within a budget that would normally be allocated to one high-production-value video. This made sure the team at Stena Line had a new piece of content to put out every fortnight.
So, what does this mean to you?
Of course, you don't have to be an expert in producing interesting, authentic, and thoughtful content on a regular basis. That's where we come in.
We're ready to work with you, your marketing or sales team, your inhouse production team or your agency to produce smart video content that produces results.